According to Egyptian legend, the pharaoh who united Egypt was called Menes. The most widely accepted narrative holds that Narmer spearheaded the military conquest of Lower Egypt, while his son, Menes, was the charismatic leader who combined the cultures of the south and north, cementing the union via marriage. Menes is said to have established the first true monarchy in all of Africa.
Menes is also credited with introducing agriculture to Egypt. Before this time, Egypt was dependent on fishing for survival. The beginning of crop cultivation enabled the Egyptians to keep more animals for use as sacrifices to the gods. This increased prosperity among other things allowed for greater military expansion. In fact, it's believed that it was because of its abundance that caused Egypt to become dominant over its neighbors.
Another important factor leading up to the unification of Egypt was the introduction of writing. Previous to this time, records of any kind were kept either by memory or through oral tradition. It is estimated that this new system went into effect around 3200 B.C. Writing made it possible for rulers to document their achievements which later served as evidence in case of conflict between them. This also helped create a sense of unity among the people because they now had something in common - language, culture, etc.
The last major cause behind the unification of Egypt was the need for security.
Menes conquered the monarch of Lower Egypt in battle by sending an army down the Nile. Menes was able to combine the two kingdoms in this manner. The combining of two different portions, in this case the two kingdoms, is referred to as unification. Menes, also known as Narmer, was the first pharaoh.
Egypt had no national identity prior to Menes. There were only the Egyptian people living in the various kingdoms across the area now known as Egypt. Menes united these kingdoms under one crown. He established his own dynasty which lasted for several centuries. During this time, they built great monuments and developed their culture quite heavily.
Unification brought peace to the region for the first time. Before this point, there were constant wars between the various kings and princes of Egypt. They even went so far as to invade each other's territories with war chariots and kill many people. With unification, there was no more need for conflict since it became profitable to trade with each other. Also, leaders like Menes who were capable of uniting the country together could negotiate better terms with foreign nations.
There are three main factors that contributed to Egypt's unification: economy, politics, and culture. The Egyptian people benefited from having one strong government because it made trading with other countries easier. It also meant there would be less fighting over power when different leaders died. Finally, the development of a single language and culture helped the country become more unified.
According to some sources, Menes was the first pharaoh of Egypt's First Dynasty; according to others, he was the second. He is often regarded as the one who united Upper and Lower Egypt into a single empire. However, modern scholars generally believe that the division between the upper and lower Nile Valleys had already been established before Menes' time. They note that many elements in the early royal inscriptions are common to both Upper and Lower Egypt, leading some to conclude that there must have been at least two distinct regional polities before Menes' time.
Menes is also credited with introducing new forms of government and administration into his kingdom. Previously, the rulers of ancient Egypt were considered gods, and it was believed that they would rule for eternity. With the emergence of monarchy around 3500 B.C., ancient Egypt made the transition from a religious to a political system. The king was the only ruler who was immortalized in stone along with his family members. Menes is said to have built his own pyramid under which that of his father lay hidden. It is not known exactly when his death took place, but he probably ruled over both Upper and Lower Egypt for several more years after his victory over the Hyskos. His successors continued to rule until about 2950 B.C., nearly a century after his death.
The legendary Menes, also known as Mena, Meni, or Min, (flourished around 2925 bce), was the fabled first king of undivided Egypt, who, according to history, united Upper and Lower Egypt into a single centralized monarchy and created ancient Egypt's 1st dynasty. His actual name is unknown, but he is remembered through myth and legend.
Menes is said to have been a great lawgiver, too, who abolished all previous laws and customs and instituted new ones that are said to have been based on justice. This makes him comparable to other mythical founders such as Zeus or Prometheus. He is also credited with having built the first true pyramid, which at that time was probably just a stone tower or mastaba for storing treasures and goods. However, it is unclear how exactly he accomplished this; some stories say that he had the help of gods, while others claim that he used only his brain and hands.
It is believed by many historians that King Menes lived in the 29th century BCE, which would make him about 100 years old when he died. He may have been human or divine, but either way, he is remembered in history as a powerful leader who helped unite what was then two separate countries into one big empire.
Egypt was divided into two regions called "the Two Lands" during the Middle Kingdom period (2040-1782 bce).